Last week was my first trip to CVS since I have started learning about their Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). I must say, my first trip was great! I bought the following things: (2) 3 bars pk of Irish Spring soap, (3) bottles of Softsoap handsoap, (2) tubes of Crest, (2) bags of M&Ms, (2) bags of Dove chocolates and (2) bottles of Excedrin (100 ct.). I spent $26. I got back $19 in ECBs! Not bad!! All of it (except for the candy!) was stuff that we use. I used a lot of coupons.
This week, the deals weren't so great. The nice thing was that I found several things that I was out of that were on sale and a few gave me some ECBs. But, I spent all of my ECBs from my first trip, and I only got 7 ECBs. But, again, I used a lot of coupons.
As far as couponing goes, here's what I have learned: Clip any coupon for a product that you think you might use, regardless of if you think you will be "needing" that product soon. I've realized that I've passed up several opportunities to save big if only I'd had the coupons. I've found several sites that are helpful with couponing.
1. The Coupon Mom- this site not only hooks you up with different sites to find printable coupons and freebies, but it also helps you know what deals are in your area. On Saturdays, they post what coupons are going to be present in the paper each Sunday.
2. Slick Forums- This site has TONS of postings about all present deals, and each Saturday you can find the next week's deals, and they'll even post about what coupons you can use to get even better deals.
3. The Coupon Clippers- you can purchase coupons you want for a very small price. You do have to buy minimum quantities, so it's really only advantageous to order the coupons that only come along every once in a while for a product you use all the time or to get coupons for really great deals (like at CVS). Plus, the lady that runs this service is a pastor's wife and a WAHM, so I feel good supporting her business.
4. The Coupon Master- just like The Coupon Clippers. The minimum quanitity is less, and they stock different coupons, so it's worth it to check out both.
5. Freebies 4 mom- Here you can find daily deals with links to coupons and more.
Honestly, you can find some great coupons by just randomly going to sites of products you use and checking to see if they have coupons for printing. Also, try emailing the companies of the products you use often and asking for samples or coupons. You might not get anything, but it's worth a try!
This weekend, I'm planning to review my past bank account statements and see where our money has been going for the past couple of months. Once I get that info, I'll start working on our revised budget.
As far as time management goes, I would give myself a C-. I'm still having trouble limiting my time doing stuff that keeps me from getting anything productive done.